Perfect Patio for S'mores

Perfect Patio

Create the Perfect Patio! I have shared my goals for my back patio, my fun shopping experience, what I bought and now I am showing you it all set up in the space!  Oh my goodness we have the perfect patio now! The absolutely perfect place for Freddy and I to hang out and have…

7 Tips for A Summer Ready Yard at

7 Tips to Quickly Get Your Yard Ready for Summer

Summer for our family is about spending time outside!  It’s about barbeques, watermelon, popsicles, swimming, sprinklers, camp fires and fireflies!  While outside I don’t constantly want to be reminded of how my landscaping has taken over our yard and I certainly don’t want to have to spend countless hours getting it looking great!  Here are 7 tips to get your yard ready for summer and how to do it in a flash!  (When I say a flash…I really mean it…Spangenbaby #3 is due soon!)   I am a RYOBI Outdoor Ambassador and they have graciously supplied me these tools of my choice.  They are also rock stars to offer a fabulous giveaway for one of YOU as well!

7 Tips for A Summer Ready Yard at

1.  Trim back any dead or overgrown foliage.  Make sure pathways are clear and that landscaping has a defined area.   I used the Ryobi 40V Expand-It Trimmer with the Brush Cutter Attachment to plow through these crazy vine ground covering plants we have.  And when I say “I”…I really mean my husband did!  I photographed!  There are perks to being 8 months pregnant!  He does all the yard work for me {love}.  (He does not like to be in my pictures either!)  These vines grow UP and OUT.  They are out of control.  They also are pretty fibrous so they are a pain to cut back.  They were no match for the brush cutter.  What used to take us hours to cut took a matter of minutes.

7 Ways to Get your Yard Ready for Summer with

It also cut down these dead Yucca plant like guys in no time.  I tell you, this thing really cut our work time in half!  It was pretty impressive how fast we finished!

7 Ways to Get your Yard Ready for Summer with

With the 40V Expand-It Trimmer we are able to trim, edge and use the brush cutter all as attachments (there are more attachments available as in the blower, cultivator, etc.).  They just pop on and off the head unit with a simple twist of a knob!   Kind of awesome.  You know I love multi-tasking products!

7 Ways to Get your Yard Ready for Summer with

2.  We added some storage for the kid’s summer toys!  There is nothing worse than wanting to go out and relax on a nice summer night and being surrounded by slip in slides, bikes and sports equipment left over from the day’s activities!   These deck boxes serve the purpose perfectly!  We defined an area, laid down weed fabric and leveled with rock before placing the deck boxes!

7 Ways to get your yard summer ready

7 Ways to Get your Yard Ready for Summer with

3.  Add some mood lighting to enjoy your summer evenings!  Add some fun!  Summer is not just about the beautiful sun shining days!  It’s also about the warm summer nights!  Stringing a set of outdoor patio lights on the pergola makes the perfect atmosphere for enjoying the warm weather!   You can add these to your porch or deck railing as well!  Another great idea is getting some candles!  Citronella ones work great if you have lots of pesky bugs!

DIY Flower Planter Boxes

Make the perfect DIY Flower Planter Boxes for your porch or deck!  When I have a vision in my head and I can’t find what I want at stores OR I refuse to pay the price tag…I make it!  You can make it too!  I promise they are really, really easy!  Seriously for these, you cut wood to length, make pocket holes with a Kreg Jig and Screw together.  Really…that’s it!

How to make your own Flower Boxes at

I made these for my mom for Christmas actually.  She is a big flower person and her house front and back are always overflowing with beautiful flowers.  We made these for her back deck to go on both sides of their patio door!  I decided on a bright, cheerful yellow to paint them!

I followed the ever so lovely Ana White’s plans which you can find right here.  They are very straight forward and awesome directions.  If you have any questions about how to use a Kreg jig…well you can click there to see my post that I just wrote!  It’s easier than you think as well!

Here are my notes:

  • Don’t get your board and make all your measurements and then cut on the lines.  They won’t be correct unless you account for your blade thickness in your measurements.  The easiest way I found is to measure, cut, measure cut, etc.  If that makes your skin crawl then you will love this video here on how I use a scrap piece of wood to help me make the same cuts over and over without measuring again.
  • Be an assembly line.  Cut all your wood.  Then drill all the pocket holes.  You get in a rhythm and it flies by…I promise!
  • Use self tapping screws!  They do the hard work for you!  They literally pull the boards together for you!  Super awesome!
  • You can either line the bottom of the planters with weed fabric to keep the dirt in or you can also find pots that fit inside!  That’s what my mom did!  She found the perfect plastic pots to just set inside so in the fall she just takes the pots out and takes the planters inside.
  • You will need to either paint or stain your boxes!  I adore the yellow I picked out but I also recommend Thompson’s WaterSeal.  It’s stain and seal in one!  Yay!  You know I love multi-tasking products!

Make sure to take your favorite shopper with you to The Home Depot to get your supplies!  It makes the trip totally interesting!

DIY Flower Boxes

Get to cutting!


How to Use a Kreg Jig to Make Simple Book Ledges

Repeat after me, “I can build things!”.  You can!  I am going to show you how!  Specifically I am going to show you how to use a Kreg Jig to make these awesome book ledges.  These ledges can be used for so much more than just books!  Frames, small jars of crafts, mugs, keepsakes…the list goes on!

I am currently 29 weeks pregnant.  With the upcoming arrival of another person living in our house we are play “Room Switcheroo” and “Try to get all the things done around the house before the baby comes!”  Fun times.  So Ryan is moving into Michael’s room so that the new baby boy can move into Ryan’s old room.  We added bunk beds to Michael’s room and ran into the issue of no night stands.  My boys LOVE to read.  They read themselves to sleep at night and I love that.  So my solution was to make them each a simple book ledge that we could put at the foot of the bed to hold a few of their favorite books!  I couldn’t find any that I liked in stores….so I made some…and you can too!

Supplies Needed for Book Ledges:

Note:  I have lots of steps because I like lots of pictures!  Don’t think this project is difficult because of that – I just like to explain everything and SHOW everything!  Just think I am crazy with the camera :)

Also Note:  You can make these to whatever length you need!  Just measure twice and cut once!

I started off by using my Ryobi Compound Miter Saw to cut each of the boards in half.  This will give me (2) 18” book shelves.  If you ask the kind folks at Home Depot, they will cut the boards to size for you, so you don’t have to have a miter saw!  Great right?   Then I got out my Kreg Jig.  I am going to show you how to use the Kreg for this project.

My Kreg Kit contains the R3 Kreg Jig, a driver bit, a drill bit, an allen wrench and a slip nut.  It also comes with tons of screw packs and pocket hole plugs and an instruction manual in a convenient case that keeps everything TOGETHER….stuff miraculously WALKS AWAY at my house so the case is nice! {Ahem…Michael & Ryan!)

How to use a Kreg Jig to make DIY Book Ledges at

Next I set the slip nut to the appropriate depth of my boards I am using.  This measurement is the width of your board.  Since I have half inch boards, I set it to half inch.  The case has everything you need to get a job done!